Friday, September 25, 2009

Work and Retirement

It has been awhile since I have written about money and work.

I started this blog to help track my goals with money and motivate me to pay off the mortgage before I retire. My goal for both work retirement and mortgage retirement is less than 5 years. Yup, you read that statement right! Five years. I’ll bet that gets you to thinking “How old is the Witch, anyway”. I'll never tell; you'll just have to use your imagination for that one.

When I started things here I had a lot of information in public view in a series of sidebars. It was fun to keep them updated to watch them advance towards each goal. However, I took them down for privacy reasons, (my sister’s advice) and now I find it hard to blog about money anymore, which is a real bummer for me. So, in case you’ve been here from the start, here’s a little update.

I'm still paying extra every month on the mortgage as I have for the past two years. I wish we could continue in this vein, but it has come to the point now where we are probably going to have to buy another truck and that will eat up the money we are using to make the extra payments. That might mean that we will have the mortgage for longer than we planned and that may have an impact on my retirement date. Maybe we can still keep the vehicles going for awhile longer (one's 16 years old the other 10).

On a more positive note, I have met and even exceeded my emergency fund goal, it a real comfort to know that it is there as backup, and our modest little vacation was bought and paid for with money left over for next time. So, I guess I’m doing pretty well!

So I guess this is where the work part comes in. I work for a great company and have had a promotion to a new job for which I'm still training. It’s a very complex and difficult position but I really love the challenge. The individual who is my trainer is very knowledgeable and so far it has been fantastic to learn from him. I may be retired before he gets through teaching me, though. Anyway, I guess if the truck becomes a reality I might have to work some overtime to continue putting the extra down on the mortgage. At least I have the option of picking up the extra shifts. Hubby works a lot of overtime and we are both going to retire at the same time (hopefully).

As for the sidebars, I’m going to put a couple of them back up. That is, as soon as I can remember how to do it. I might have to call in my Tech Support Team. “Hey, Hubby! What’cha doing?”

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Vacation is over, RATS!!!!!

We had a great time on vacation and I really don't know where to start to describe all the wonderful things we did in two weeks. The new pictures will show you all just how busy we were.

As I wrote in the last post, we started off the first week with making a couple of different kinds of pickles and then we turned those grapes I showed you into jelly. The results came out the best we have every done. Tart, sweet, and they set up just perfectly. We've already finished off two jars, mmm. We used all the grapes but I don't think it will last very long.

We went to visit my Grandmother and brought her a jar of Mustard Pickles. It was a real joy to see her face light up when she tasted it. Thanks Granny, for showing me how to make the best Mustard Pickles in the world.

Ribfest was a great success. We had lots and lots of food and a delicious dessert (Devil's food cupcakes), all shared with the best company and friends anyone could hope to have.

Then we spent a couple of days just hanging out around the house before going away for four days to a rented cottage by the beach. It was perfect, exactly what I was looking for. It was a beautiful property and a pretty little building with vaulted ceilings, wood paneling and a fireplace. Very cosy!

We did a lot in those four days, lots of sightseeing, canoeing (with the seals) and just plain relaxing. I was a little scared about being out on the water with the seals. I was sure that they would come too close and tip over the canoe. Hubby had a great laugh at my expense, yelling "Look out here comes FLIPPER!!!" every time one would pop up it's head. Happily they kept their distance and we made it safely back to shore after a nice paddle around the bay.

It was just a great get-away, and it was made even better when Hubby announced that he had been skimming the household budget every week for the past 4 months. He had managed to squirrrel away enough to pay for the entire trip, including food, drink and lodging! Even the wine we bought at the winery we visited was included, yah! Thankfully, we are not in the Mafia. I'm sure a person could get whacked for doing something like this. Anyway, I'm sure that my mentor for all things finacial, Gail Vaz-Oxlade, would have a laugh over this one. She might have even been proud of us. So yes everything was paid for in full and we also had lots of money left over. So very HAPPY!!!!!!!!! THANKS HUBBY. Love ya, but you already know that.

Well, it's back to work on Monday, but I know I'll be daydreaming of canoeing with the seals and other things to keep the vacation alive as long as possible.

Vacations are great but way too short.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Vacation time

Well it may be vacation time but we're sure not lazying around. It's pickling season and we have been going like crazy because friends of my sister may be able to take a few cases back to T.O. for us. We've made two batches of my Grandmother's Dutch Salad Pickles (we call them mustard pickles and they are a family favourite) and now we have made a second batch of the Hot Curry Relish that I wrote about before.We're still going to make some more of the relish later on when our tomatoes have gotten really ripe. It seems to make a difference, at least in the colour, as the second batch which was made with tomatoes that were very ripe, is a much nicer darker red. Later, we're also going make some jelly from the grapes we have growing on the potting shed and who knows, maybe some pickled beets, too.
I've enclosed some pictures of our handy work. I'm really glad that Hubby loves to help out because it really is a lot of work chopping all the veggies.

I'm also planning my annual dinner party. Rib Fest, yeah! Always seems to be a big hit. I'm planning on decorating the table up with a Fall theme and maybe a few Halloween items thrown in for added fun. I'm just not quite sure about what kind of dessert to make, yet. I'm leaning towards Pumpkin Cheesecake, but chocolate cupcakes with a orange cream cheese icing is calling out to me. I love cupcakes. Hubby just loves icing no matter what it's attached to.

We also have to split up some of the flower beds and rearrange some of the perriennials. The veggie garden needs weeding. I want to also give my leather couch and chair a treatment, I think it may be a little dry looking. The list can go on and on but I really don't what to pile too much on our plates, after all it is supposed to be a VACATION!!!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

OOPS.... I think I lost a comment!

Canadian Saver left two very nice comments on the previous post but I somehow lost the second one. I'm very sorry and I hope this was just a rookie blogger mistake. I appreciated the thoughts, though.

(edit) I found the second comment, it was on a different post than I expected. Like I said, it was a rookie mistake.

It's Almost Fall Here On Witch's Island

You can almost smell fall just around the corner, can't you? It makes a girl just want to go out and hug a sunflower or a pumpkin or something!

I didn't have much to say right now but I did want to thank An Ostrich Named Sam for adding me to her web links. I was amazed to see my site linked there. It was a first for me!

My vacation has finally arrived and I am so looking forward to all the things that I have planned. I'm sure you will hear all about it later, but for now I'm just going to leave you with a few pictures. The first one is the note that greeted me when I got home from work on Friday. The rest are just happy pictures. I hope you enjoy them!

Holiday Greeting


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

1st Year Anniversary

It's hard to believe that it has already been a year since The Witch's Island went public. With all the stuff that was happening to me and all the things that I have experienced since this time last year I am glad to have had the ability to vent to you, my dedicated reader. Thank you.

Tonight, I am just going to think about what the past year has meant to me. No real blogging, sorry. Instead, I will leave you with some new pictures.

Talk to you all later, my pretties!!

Janice's Hot Curry Relish

Harvest Time

First Pumpkin of the Season!